Dude... so like, we're in Michigan!

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Mel's house

Flag of United States  , Michigan
Sunday, July 18, 2010

After the trip my dad brought me out to Ypsilanti to visit my friend here. Without a car there was pretty much no way I was going to be able to get out here (well, save for a bus trip) and the tentative plan is to try and get a ride from another person. If I can't, then I'll be biking home.

After a lot of snafus getting out of Chicago we ended up leaving the city right around 7:30. The original schedule had us arriving in Ypsi around that time. Since we didn't want to drive right through rush hour traffic and then have to stop for dinner we decided to get dinner immediately. Jay's Beef in Chicago has always been one of my favorite joints to eat. Every time I go there now I get the same thing I used to get in high school; Chicago style Italian beef, sweet peppers, extra juicy and a side of jalapeno poppers. The poppers were less good as I remembered them, but the sandwich was everything I was expecting it to be.

Saturday, my first full day here I ended up just walking around with Mel. We walked towards the local co-op, but took the long way there. This area looks really, really nice, but apparently if you step a little off the path and the area can become real unsafe real fast. We ended up finding a few cool museums, which I will go back to at a later point in time.

I had heard that this town was very pot friendly, but I was not expecting what I had found. Pot is legal here for medical use. There are several head shops around the city and there is no secret as to what the pipes and bongs are used for (usually there is a 'for tobacco use only' sign). Everyone around here smokes pot. People are not exactly shy about their use of it (they don't blatantly do it in the streets, though). In Ann Arbor, possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense, but is just a small fine that's less than a parking ticket. There is even talk that Detroit will legalize marijuana period.

The rest of the evening was just hanging out at a friends pool and me fighting to stay awake while my friend and her friends hung out. One of her friends was looking for a place in Asia to work and teach English. I talked with her about my experiences and answered a couple of questions. I hope for her much better than what I recently experienced.

This morning my friend and I went to the local artisan's market. Normally those type of things don't impress me and this one was no different. After walking through and looking at the items for sale we turned towards down town Ann Arbor and wandered through that area. Ann Arbor has lots more money than Ypsi. There are lots of $40 for two type of restaurants of every single ethnicity you can think of (all with an American twist!) and lots of hippie stores. The place we ate at, Arbor Brewing Company, served the food with Annie's organic ketchup, which actually is fairly normal.

On the way out, I did see a funny. A rather large, muscular man had a very elaborate tattoo on his arm. The centerpiece of it was two Chinese characters. He wanted to have, "Ability," written on his arm, but the artist skillfully put the characters on in the wrong order, so it read "power can." In the world of tattoos, these are called, "Badges of Ignorance."

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